Jean Weso is a child of the sixties. He was born after an encounter between a Swedish woman and a Danish man. He grew up in Copenhagen and Paris with his identical twin brother Christian. After many years working as an editor and journalist, he has now turned to crime almost full time. Since 2009 he has lived in Amsterdam with his Capetonian wife Ingrid, who is, as it happens, also an identical twin.
An extract from the Amsterdam Sniper
“My name is Rinus, and I’m an alcoholic.”
Twelve days sober and sharing for the first time at Alcoholics Anonymous. Two years ago, he had drunk himself out of his marriage and two weeks ago almost out of his job as Inspector at the Amsterdam Criminal Investigation Department, also referred to as ACID. After jeopardizing the sex-trafficking investigation, Chief Inspector Claes Van der Valk only avoided suspending him on the condition that he stop drinking. Immediately.
“I’m scared, angry and frustrated. The thought of alcohol is never far away. Without my job, I’m nothing… but I’m not sure I can cope with the demands and expectations when sober. I feel like…”
The friendly atmosphere in the room gave him the courage to be open about himself. That was something that generally took a few shots of jenever. His fellows at the meeting knew all too well the feeling of an ungrateful world and the urge to blame everyone else for their misery.
The meeting ended at half past eight with everyone joining hands to recite the serenity prayer. The religious aspect was not Rompa’s cup of tea, but at an A.A. meeting, you followed protocol without discussion.
“I appreciated your honest share.”
The voice came from a well-dressed man in his fifties. Blue-eyed and with an open smile, he looked nothing like a suffering alcoholic. “Here is my card,” the man said. “Give me a call if you need to talk.”
Rompa looked at the thin card. Frederik Edquist, freelance journalist and apparently recovering alcoholic. Rompa’s mobile vibrated. Saved by the bell, he thought as he excused himself and answered.
“We have a shooting near Westerkerk,” said the voice of Sergeant Hennie Snel.